The product of some serious writer's block. I own nothing.

With a Mind to Marry

In the mortal world, it made sense to marry. And it was not until much later in Carlisle's immortal life that he lived in any sort of society that would have permitted the good doctor to live with Esme unmarried. However sensible those reasons were, Carlisle proposed because after all that had happened, he was still a religious man. He proposed because he could not shake the needling feelings of guilt every time he partook of pleasures of the flesh with his mate. He did not doubt that Esme was his forever, but he proposed because good Christian men were supposed to propose to their lovers, and he still judged himself by religious standards.

Esme's belief in God disappeared with her transformation. However, it could not be mere coincidence that brought Carlisle to her not once, but twice, the second time in her hour of greatest need, and so she believed in Fate. She did not feel the need to marry for any spiritual reason—she was content to be Carlisle's mate, rather than wife. They had introduced themselves as man and wife for some time, as society would have frowned on a man and a woman living together unmarried, but her previous marriage had been a cage, a dungeon, and an experience that she wanted no reminders of. But as the memories started to fade, she found herself more and more desiring to own the title "wife" once again. She began to hate that a marriage bond was given more meaning in the world than her own intense bond with Carlisle, and she began to desire to give her claim on Carlisle more legitimacy in the mortal world, ridding Charles of any remaining ownership. And so when her beloved proposed, she consented, and allowed his kindness to replace the bad with the good, and in his arms she found healing. And the word "wife" to her this time meant freedom.

Alice married for a human memory. It was always Alice that insisted they go to school proms and graduations, and partake in all the silly little rites-of-passage that humans performed. She had come to terms with having no human memories by making new ones. And humans married their soul mates, so when she found hers, she wanted to marry him as well. And so she planned a wedding—not a large one, but a wedding nonetheless. They had not yet joined the Cullens, but Peter and Charlotte attended, as well as the old waitress at that rundown diner where Alice and Jasper had finally found each other. And Alice walked down the aisle in a white dress, and Jasper looked suitably stunned at his good luck, and they exchanged vows and went on a honeymoon. It did not matter that for most of their lives, they would hide the fact that they were married from all around them save their family because she had the memory. And as far as recreating human memories went, Alice thought that it was one of the best.

Jasper, too, married as a way of reconnecting to his human life. He may have retained his human memories, unlike his wife, but he had lived as no better than an animal for years after his transformation. He had killed indiscriminately and began to live by instinct, and as time went by he began to view himself more and more as a monster. And so he married, because animals mated, and humans married, and he would do anything to feel human once more.

Emmett did not care one way or another about marriage itself, but Rosalie did. Emmett had been no saint in his human life, and he adjusted better than most to his new life. He had no reasons to marry, except that Emmett cared about Rosalie. And if Rosalie wanted a wedding, Emmett would give her several, because nothing mattered to him more than her happiness.

Rosalie had been groomed for a good marriage her entire human life. She presented herself in a way that would make men desire her to be their wife, and she avoided any scandal that could reduce her marriage prospects. And when the richest man in town wanted her for his bride, she was surprised not to feel completely contented. But she brushed off that feeling and reveled in the attention she was paid and the gifts she received until one fateful night, she realized just how much of her fairy tale romance had been a lie. And so she put on a white dress and got her revenge, but even then could not let go of her immense anger. But then, she found Emmett, mauled and dying, and saw in him redemption. To her joy, when Carlisle changed him, he saw something in her as well, and with Emmett, she finally found her peace. Though she was now strong, she felt protected by his size. Though she was now confident, his gaze made her feel worthy. Though she now had a family, she found a home in his arms. Rosalie Hale, who had sworn never again to be taken in by a pretty face and charming words found healing in Emmett McCarty's embrace, and she learned what a true fairy tale romance felt like, and knew that this time she would marry the right prince. And so she had several weddings, and in each one, celebrated her triumph over the evil that had plagued her. Many things had been taken from her, but not that victory, and not her happy ever after.

And so when Edward proposed to Bella, Carlisle understood why. He, too, was concerned with his immortal soul and wanted to obey the standard laws. Jasper, too, understood better than the others, for he had wanted the ceremony to affirm his own humanity as well. Esme rejoiced because of what the ceremony meant, and because she would gain a daughter. Alice celebrated because she loved a good party, and she knew the planning would be left largely to her. She knew her brother and her sister would be together forever, and carried far more about the wedding than the marriage, which she felt was superfluous. Emmett simply watched the proceedings of the house, completely bemused, but he was proud of his brother and excited to have a new sister. And Rosalie, who appreciated a wedding more than any of the rest, finally accepted Bella as family. Because a happy ever after was not a thing to be trifled with.